Preview: Harrogate welcomes Countryside Live

Countryside Live welcomes a packed programme of firm favourites and new additions this year as the event heads to Great Yorkshire Showground on October 18 and 19.

Despite being dubbed the little sister of the Great Yorkshire show, Countryside Live are thinking big by including mountain bike displays, pony rides and the popular Northern Show Cross equine competition over both days.

NADV. Cousins Evie White and Jay Hunter meet Trigger the alpaca at Countryside Live. 101023GS2p.

NADV. Cousins Evie White and Jay Hunter meet Trigger the alpaca at Countryside Live. 101023GS2p.

Almost 3,000 competitive entries have also been confirmed for the event, the second highest in its 12-year history, with classes for cattle, sheep and horses, as well as poultry, pigeons and honey.

Bill Cowling, Show Director said: “The number of entries is a huge endorsement of Countryside Live by the farming and rural industry, with entries coming from as far north as Scotland and down to the south coast.

“And there will be quality as well as quantity as many of our winners go on to take top awards at other leading events, and I’m sure this year will be no exception. It’s a wonderful opportunity to gain an insight into agriculture, as well as have a great day out.”

And, for the first time, sheep racing is being included at the popular two-day rural extravaganza.

To get the sheep in their stride, Mr Cowling supervised a practice run for the wooly competitors at a special circuit set up at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Sheep races, organised by members of the Yorkshire Young Farmers Clubs, will take place twice daily at Countryside Live when YFC members will compete for the fastest lap.

“It will be great fun I’m sure, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the going will be good. Although there won’t be betting, I’m sure there will be plenty of cheering for the favourite,” said Mr Cowling.

The World Horse Shoeing competition will also be making its debut as farriers from across Europe and America battle it out for an all expenses paid trip to Kentucky.

Show-stopping showjumpers will also be put through their paces again this year by Graham and Tina Fletcher and the entertaining One Man and His Pig competition are is also on the timetable.

Gates open at 9am each day. Tickets are available either on the gate, adult tickets are £11, children’s £6 and a family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) £30. Under 5s admitted free. Parking is free and extensive. Please note dogs, other than assistance dogs, are not allowed at the event.